• The Sodom and Gomorrah of Public Schooling?
    The problem [cheating] is not that Atlanta is the Sodom and Gomorrah of public schooling. The problem is that state schooling separates payment from consumption. The accountability mechanism of competitive markets—the only such mechanism that actually works—requires the payer to also be the consumer, because the central incentive for any service provider is to please the payer. So if the consumer isn’t paying, he or she is rendered relatively unimportant in the eyes of the provider. So there is an incentive for school officials to cheat because they are paid by the bureaucrats, not by the parents. Not every teacher succumbs to this incentive, of course, but the incentive is very clearly putting pressure in the wrong direction.
  • Cornerstone opened the way for more city school options
    Detroit: And while it’s amazing to think of what Cornerstone has accomplished in 20 years — 95% graduation rate, 91% of its kids going to college — Durant, now chairman of the Cornerstone Board and once again a U.S. Senate candidate, says it’s also important to consider what the staff at Cornerstone has learned over that time. The comparison between Cornerstone’s independent and charter schools, for example, is revealing, he said. Cornerstone has been able to maintain much more stability in the population at the independent schools, where tuition is about $3,000 a year, than it has at the publicly supported charter schools.
  • Back to school call to action for black parents
    Black people have not failed the school systems of today. But it is an irrefutable fact that the majority of the current traditional school systems have failed Black Americans. Black parental responsibility first and foremost is to establish and secure the highest quality education for Black children. Without apology Black parents cannot afford to permit the education interests of our children to be triage by those who have become complacent and implicated in this massive education crisis. This is the civil rights issue that should be at the top of the agenda of all our national, regional and local organizations. Simply put, there is nothing more important than the education of our children.
  • School Choice Now!: Never Say “Never,” Mr. Secretary
    During a Twitter town hall held today by Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education…was unequivocal, saying during the town hall that he would “never support school voucher programs. I want great public education. A seven-year-old doesn’t know whether he’s going to a public school or a voucher school…we underinvest in public education and we need to put more resources in, not to support the status quo, but to improve. It’s funny that this is a statement about opposition to vouchers, because on a couple levels, it actually helps to reinforce the reasoning behind why we so ardently support vouchers for low-income kids. First,
  • Duncan: No link between cheating, NCLB
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Wednesday denied that there is a direct “causal” effect between the high-stakes testing under the No Child Left Behind law and the cheating scandals that have erupted in school systems across the country, including the District. While saying that pressure to meet NCLB-established benchmarks may have played a role, he blamed the problem on ineffective school leaders who “turned a blind eye” to brewing problems and refused to confront the reality that teachers were lying to students and parents.
  • Knox County expands TAP schools
    The state Department of Education is using the [Teacher Advancement Program] TAP standards as part of the state’s new teacher evaluation system. Knox County also is using it as part of its newly adopted strategic compensation plan.This school year, Knox County Schools has expanded its program from four schools to 18. Jim McIntyre, superintendent for Knox County Schools, said the district witnessed strong results at its four original schools — Holston Middle, Northwest Middle, Lonsdale Elementary and Pond Gap Elementary — and wanted to expand on it.
  • Highlights from Arne Duncan’s Twitter Town Hall
    For [Arne] Duncan’s first-ever Twitter town hall, thousands of folks sent questions to the EdSec using the #askarne hashtag, and many were outright “hostile,” Merrow said. Here are highlights from the town hall:
  • How to Fix Our Math Education [Excellent]
    The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact. A math curriculum that focused on real-life problems would still expose students to the abstract tools of mathematics, especially the manipulation of unknown quantities. But there is a world of difference between teaching “pure” math, with no context, and teaching relevant problems that will lead students to appreciate how a mathematical formula models and clarifies real-world situations.
  • Deal puts new 23-member board in control of Memphis, Shelby County schools Oct. 1
    The settlement U.S. District Judge Samuel “Hardy” Mays approved…calls for a 23-member unified countywide board to take over Oct. 1. It will oversee the winding down of operations of Memphis City Schools and the currently all-suburban Shelby County Schools, while also assuming responsibility for adopting a transition plan for a consolidated school system that begins with the 2013-14 school year. The Shelby County Commission will carve the county into seven large new districts and appoint interim members to finish out the large — but unified — board.
  • Plans, cost nix longer school day for Memphis City Schools
    The much-heralded longer school day for students in the most troubled city schools ended after one year, a casualty of cost and planning uncertainties. In the meantime, Congress is considering cutting up to 40 percent from the overall Race to the Top funding.
  • Haslam underlines education goals at business gathering
    At the end of remarks to a small group of business and government leaders on Wednesday, Gov. Bill Haslam said he hoped that reforming education statewide would be the  legacy of his tenure as governor. Haslam mentioned developing STEM schools across the state as part of the process to educate students in the areas of math and science, with the hope of preparing them for future tech, science, and engineering jobs being generated across the state.

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